So after a few restless nights and a couple of hours of tossing and turning, I finally passed out late last night and was looking forward to sleeping in today…
You already know how this goes, don’t you?
Yep. Lily decided that a pre-dawn raid on the garden was crucial to today’s strategy, jumping up on the bed and prying my sleeping form up out of my warm little hollow with her muzzle. She punctuated these attempts with yips and grumblings, clearly translatable as lectures about seizing the day, early birds, my being a lazy bum and something about vagrant cats getting a head start.
Well. She’s nothing if not pushy, our Lily. So I hauled myself up and out of bed, staggered downstairs, let her out to do the needful and came to terms with the morning having started earlier than planned. May as well make the most of it, eh? So I got to the washing up, putting in the laundry, swept the living room etc., got to my desk, started organising the day’s workload…..and after a while I realised that though Lily had come back in, she’d been conspicuously undemanding – in fact, I hadn’t heard a peep out of her for over an hour.
So I went to look for her – she was not anywhere downstairs or outside…and then it dawned on me (the words that accompanied this dawning I will not sully my little blog with) and I marched upstairs and sure enough, madam was curled up in my bed, fast asleep.
Living in the country has it’s many charms and no shortage of wildlife that regards your home a shared space. From garden visitors to home invaders, there are quite a few new creatures I have had to grow accustomed to if not grow to love outright.
Spiders fall into this category.
We have an amicable enough relationship, in that we can peacefully coexist so long as neither party decides to invade the other’s physical space. We watch out for each other, I try not to hoover them up and leave active cobwebs alone (old abandoned ones are fair game) and they in turn do away with any pesky flies or flying bugs that may wander into the house. The man of the house is particularly fond of the spiders we host, and holds them in high regard. Initially I was suspicious that this was a clever way of excusing the lack of sweeping that was evident in the house when I arrived, but I have grown accustomed now to his many peculiarities (and I believe vice versa!), and I accept that the spiders are part and parcel of the house we live in (Lily, however will snap them up if they unwisely skitter within reach – she’s a ‘take no prisoners’ kinda gal).
And, because my guilty conscience will not let me be, I must admit that yesterday while scrubbing the bathroom floor I accidentally caused one of our wee arachnid friends to lose his leg – I was mortified as he hobbled frantically back to his spot, and I truly am sorry.
So here’s to you little friend, I hope you live long and prosper out there, behind the bin:
Because you deserve some flowers today.
There’s nothing as comforting as a nice, hot, flavorsome soup to warm you on a cold day. Here are some ‘Top 10 Soup Recipes‘ according to The Telegraph. Though I just chuck all the veg I have lying around after the weekend feasting into a pot so as to have a solid lunchtime staple around on these cold winter afternoons.
Today I let an onion sweat in a big dollop of butter, and added ginger & garlic paste and some salt, ground cumin , tumeric and red chillies to make a base. Into this went chopped parsnips, a big potato, some leftover carrots and a couple of celery stalks, as well as a big helping of coriander, some pepper and, at the end, the juice of half a lemon ….thick, tasty and satisfying.
I have my eye on this little lamp from Ikea for my desk. Since I reclaimed this little studio of mine from its previous life (don’t even ask, a lot of wildlife and plant matter had to be dislodged), I have been trying to steadily save up for all the little odds and ends to furnish it as a little office for myself. I am currently in search of a reasonably priced floor lamp so the ghastly tube-light can be done away with – I prefer to sit in the darkness come evening!Soon, I hope to share with you the story of the house itself, and some of the little make-over projects I keep planning that I hope will start to gain momentum
Lily and I have the same morning routine. We wake to the sound of our main man getting up for work, we cuddle for a while, enjoying the snuggly warm bed, and then we get up, stretch out and head downstairs to our respective loos, after which we read the daily news.
For me this means wading through newspapers from the borough, the country I live in, the country I was born to and a few more besides – while for Lily it’s an urgent snuffling all over the back garden to find out who’s been up to what during the night, then she darts through the house and starts pawing at the front door so she can read the front garden too.
Since I moved to the UK I have had to cook far more regularly than ever before. Prior to this my only kitchen experience was in ‘Food & Nutrition’ class during school days (a long, long time ago) and some dabbling while in graduate school. Fortunately, I have access to a brilliant panel of cooks, my mom, aunts and cousins, who pass on their recipes to me and other displaced family members across the world.
These are recipes passed around orally and usually with vague instructions regarding quantities and methodology i.e. ‘just enough chilli powder’, ‘wait until it’s cooking happily’. I have attempted to put some of them in writing, on scraps of paper littered about the house, and keep planning to make little recipe cards to print out and laminate for easy reference in the kitchen.
Since I have the first 4 recipes down, after much procrastination, I thought I’d share them here. Do experiment and adjust to taste as you go, as there are no hard and fast rules with these and every household seems to create its own unique flavour, which is kinda cool. At the bottom I’ve placed a link to a downloadable PDF file so you can print out all four on a sheet of A4 paper, cut and laminate for easy reference in the kitchen.
Download A4 sized PDF of all four recipes here.
I can be pretty vague myself, so if you find anything that needs clarification or correction, do let me know. And if you end up with variations of you own do share!
This post goes out dedicated to my wonderful mother Fauzia, my forever young aunt Shaz and my beautiful Maasi (who’s cooking will remain unmatched). Love you!